Greek Jewish Group Condemns Newspaper Cartoon ‘Trivializing’ Holocaust by Depicting Auschwitz Gates

Jona Laks, survivor of Dr. Josef Mengele’s twins experiments and her granddaughter, Lee Aldar stand next to the gate with the slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) as they start their visit at the Auschwitz death camp in Oswiecim, Poland January 26, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A group representing Greek Jewish communities condemned on Monday an editorial cartoon published in a local newspaper that depicted universities as the Auschwitz concentration camp, using the phrase “studies make you free” above the infamous camp gates.

“It is a hideous and vulgar instrumentalization of the Holocaust for political purposes,” said the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece in a statement, referring to the cartoon published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper.

“In any case, the newspaper’s expressed respect towards the victims of the Holocaust and its firm position against antisemitism cannot be used as excuses for the publication of such cartoons that insult both the memory of the victims and the survivors alike, by trivializing the place of their martyrdom,” the Athens-based group said.

“The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the Greek Jews, those of us who passed through the gate of Auschwitz, survived and are still alive, as well as the descendants of the victims, we will never stop denouncing every attempt to diminish and exploit Holocaust which leads to oblivion and the distortion of history,” it added.

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January 18, 2021 5:37 pm

The World Jewish Congress shared the statement on Twitter, saying, “A cartoon in a Greek newspaper – depicting universities as Auschwitz with the phrase “Studies make you free” at the gate – is a vulgar instrumentalization of the #Holocaust. It insults the memory of the victims & survivors.”

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